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Thanksgiving Traditions to Incorporate Into Your Celebrations This Year


Thanksgiving Traditions to Incorporate Into Your Celebrations This Year- Sheboygan Style!

An aspect of working in hospitality and social media marketing that has influenced my life the most, are two things: taking photos of everything, and always working on content at least four weeks ahead of time (if not more). Which means that my mindset has been on all things relating to the holidays. Although there are many big events upcoming between this month and January, I don’t want to overlook a holiday that I feel gets a little overshadowed by Christmas here in the States. You probably guessed it: I’m talking about Thanksgiving. I’ve always loved this holiday, waking up to watch the Thanksgiving day parade in the morning with my family, baking cranberry bread with my mom using our special recipe, oftentimes watching the first snowfall while the smell of the kitchen wafts into the family room. Thanksgiving has always felt special to me in my own way because in my family, this holiday break means relaxing. Although that is not the case for everyone, this week I wanted to share some of my favorite Thanksgiving break pastimes and traditions, Sheboygan style!

Going for a Walk with Your Loved Ones:

For many people, Thanksgiving celebrations bring us together with family and friends that we don’t get to see in our everyday lives. I always look forward to getting to see my Nana and Papa for the holidays, and as long as the weather cooperates, my family enjoys getting some fresh air and moving around in between sitting for meals by taking a stroll outside. Sometimes we do this during the day and walk along the the water enjoying the scenic views, other times we once the sun has set so we can see neighborhood holiday lights come to life. It’s something special because it isn’t our ordinary walk, it’s a means to enjoy time with family, catch up, tell stories, and enjoy the seasonal sights. Here in Sheboygan, you can’t beat a walk along the beaches of Lake Michigan. The Lakefront Bike Path runs parallel to South Pier Drive and is right off the back of Blue Harbor, it’s condo’s, and the public beach just down the street. Although I am not hosting Thanksgiving, I know that if I were, I would be building in time to take my family on a walk along this trail to see the changing leaves lining the shore of the lake. If you are spending Thanksgiving in or near Sheboygan, I highly recommend heading down by the lake for a brief walk, before heading back indoors to warm up.

Making a Cozy Nest to Read or Watch TV

Thanksgiving reminds me of a mini human-version of hibernation. You hunker down, eat a lot of food, and rest before the busyness of the Christmas season really kicks in. For this reason, I’ve found it important to make time for myself and rest as much as I can during this holiday weekend. As a big reader, my preferred take on relaxing is grabbing my favorite blanket, as many pillows as possible, and creating a reading nook to plow my way through whatever novel I am reading at the time. I don’t always allow myself as much consecutive reading time during normal weekends, so this feels like a relaxing reward for myself; a chance to slow down. Another version of this that is a family tradition is cozying up for a family movie after Thanksgiving dinner. We all get into lounge clothes, put the fireplace on, and choose our desired film. In my household, we have a tradition of watching horror and thriller movies together, but sometimes we mix it up a little bit on Thanksgiving night and put on a seasonal favorite: A Christmas Horror Story. This is our annual marker that Christmas truly is, on its way. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, that’s for sure, but as many have their Hallmark movies, we have this unique little gem.

Trying New Foods

Let’s face it: Thanksgiving is all about the food. Don’t we all have that one (or two, or three) dishes we look forward to this time of year because it’s special to the holidays? Mine is without a doubt the homemade cranberry bread I bake year after year with my mom and sister. Although I have my favorites, I love the opportunity to try something new; whether that’s a new recipe we try making ourselves or a unique dish made by someone else at our Thanksgiving table. I especially love when I have the opportunity to try something new that meets my dietary needs as a gluten-free, dairy-free vegetarian. As you can probably imagine, that doesn’t always happen every year, which is why it’s that much more exciting when it does. My new recipe to share with my family this year is a creamy, vegan, German potato soup. I love learning to cook a dish that relates to my heritage, and to be able to adapt it slightly to meet my needs and the needs of other loved ones who share similar dietary needs. I’ve been looking forward to this recipe, and I’m even more excited to share it at Thanksgiving dinner. Here at Blue Harbor, The Beacon Restaurant is holding a Thanksgiving Buffet, with a variety of traditional Thanksgiving dishes to try. The best part is the fact that it’s a buffet so you can try as much as you want!

Playing a Family Game:

When my family isn’t watching a silly horror-Christmas movie spoof, we are definitely gathering around a competitive table game. My family is partial to mystery games, puzzles, and card games. The best part about this tradition is that it can be done whether you are celebrating at home, at a host’s house, or in a hotel. Card games and board games are easy to bring along with you wherever your Thanksgiving celebrations are taking place. Although the same can be said about watching a movie, this activity is more engaging; you can have conversation, laugh, and tell stories with the people you are gathering with. I know I will be stopping by The Gameboard in Downtown Sheboygan to pick up a new game to share with my family and my boyfriend’s family this year. They have such an impressive selection of games, there are nearly too many to choose from! But don’t worry, I’m easily up for the task.

Putting Up the Christmas Tree the Weekend of Thanksgiving:

To close the holiday weekend, one last tradition I look forward to at home is starting to decorate for Christmas. My absolute favorite part of Christmas decorating is putting up the tree and hanging the lights and ornaments. We drink hot chocolate, put out a plate of fruit, cheese, and chocolates, and watch the football game or a Christmas special in the background. Although we can’t all be home the weekend of Thanksgiving, it’s something we can look forward to as the holiday weekend comes to a close and we have to say goodbye to family and friends and return to our daily lives. I hold off on putting up my décor until after Thanksgiving so that I have something special to look forward to the week that we all return to school, work, and routine.


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